Yigal Amir, Tomer Neuberg
Rabin assassin Yigal Amir in court, October 2010. Photo by Tomer Neuberg
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The right-wing Arutz Sheva website has launched a contest on its Hebrew homepage to mark the 15th anniversary of the killing of Yitzhak Rabin - promising to publish the "most interesting" theories contradicting the official version of the killing. Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir on November 4, 1995, following a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

The "special project" includes an online form, on which entrants can set out their conspiracy theories in 9,000 characters or less.

"Ahead of the 15th anniversary [commemorations] of the murder, we invite every single one of you who, in a hidden-away drawer, holds a theory that as far as he's concerned answers some, most, or all of the questions surrounding the Rabin assassination, to write it down, send it to us, and we'll publish the most interesting theories on one of the days close to the assassination anniversary," the site wrote.

The margins of the ad for the contest appear riddled with bullet holes.

The assassination has long been a source of bitter debate between the left and right in Israel. A government commission ruled that Amir, a right-wing law student, acted alone in gunning down Rabin after a Tel Aviv peace rally.

Many on the left have blamed rightist opposition to Rabin's peace moves for fostering the atmosphere that led to Rabin's death. Hardliners deny the linkage, and maintain that the left has been guilty of character assassination against the right as a whole.

Far-rightists have gone further, stating that Amir was innocent and setting out a range of conspiracy theories, some hinting at involvement by the Shin Bet, close Rabin aide Eitan Haber, and Rabin's successor, Shimon Peres.

In the past, Arutz Sheva has given voice to writers and columnists who championed Rabin conspiracy theories.

In 2007, Arutz Sheva news editor Hillel Fendel, detailing a number of theorists' contentions, wrote, "The question of whether it was Amir who murdered Rabin is still a matter of national debate. Nearly half of the religious public (46 percent ), and well over a quarter (28 percent ) of the public at large, believe that Amir was not the culprit."

"Even more striking is the finding that 14 percent of Israelis - and 38 percent of the religious public - believe that Amir should be immediately pardoned."